The Stigmatization of St Francis, miniature on a vellum leaf probably from a Book of Hours. France (Paris), c.1500-
FRENCH ARTIST (1500)
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Single leaf, 164x102mm, with a full-page miniature presumably on the verso facing a prayer to St Francis on a recto in a Book of Hours, the reverse blank, some pigment loss especially near the lower right corner, the edges of the leaf discoloured through previous contact with card mount.
Another leaf with a miniature of Sts Francis and St. Clare is so similar in terms of size, composition and style, that it probably belonged to the same manuscript (Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1958-151-4). It may, therefore, have been a Book of Hours, or another devotional manuscript, with a strong Franciscan element as we have the miniature of St. Francis alone and then one of both St. Francis and St. Clare, one of his first followers, in a sister leaf.
In 1224 Francis of Assisi was on retreat on Mount Alverna with his companion Thomas of Celano: Thomas reported that Francis saw a vision of a seraph with his arms outspread and feet together, in the shape of a cross, and while contemplating it marks appeared like those of Christ at his Crucifixion, on his hands, feet, and side, where they remained until his death two years later. The building in the background of the miniature is perhaps intended to represent the chapel of the Portiuncula, where the Franciscan order was founded, or Francis’s church at Assisi itself.
Philadelphia Museum of Art, St. Francis and St. Catherine [sic]. The Samuel S. White 3rd and Vera White Collection, 1958-151-4
Stock Code: 218859